Muggery and thuggery

I was in Finsbury Park bus station and saw two boys punching a smaller boy. I stopped by them and gave a teacher come adult look. Dilemma: ” Is it normal play-fighting or something sinister?” And check my back.

I was on the 394 bus from Hoxton Hall, situated in the Hoxton Market which was giving off smells of posh burgers in posher buns, where I’d gone for an “audio tour” not knowing it was a Shoreditch walk like “Mapping Your Manor” pre- Olympic and Paralympic Games when I espied an unusual formation of cyclists riding across the vision of a car. In a moment the passengers were in uproar having witnessed cycle thugs punch a child cyclist so that he fell to the ground. It was a mercy the car behind stopped. The bicycle left behind was retrieved by a passer -by. I don’t know about the child because no-one on my bus spoke English. I got the gist that the car driver saw to the boy.

Then I was on the 48 going to Walthamstow when two slags got on and walked past the driver. He waited then demanded in a polite manner to see their passes. The acting began and there were no passes. He wouldn’t change a £20 note saying they should pop off the bus to the adjacent shop and buy an Oyster card. They weren’t moving, drinking their pop and adjusting their weaves. After a couple of minutes a guy paid their passage. We all got down in Walthamstow and I went into the express supermarket to check my community notice-board. The slags were already in there filling their bags with shop- lifted items. I alerted Mr Security who told me they’re habitual thieves.

At home I enjoyed “Customs UK”.

Claremont project film screening

In windy Angel it was all going on at the Claremont: Ballroom dancing, keep-fit and a film screening in a true pop-up cinema.

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Some of Claremont Project’s dancing class women will be on the John Lewis floor in Westfield E20 on Monday to dance for our pleasure as part of Capital Age Festival 2013. This is a bookable treat through Capital Age Festival’s website.

Yes! Capital Age Festival 2013 has arrived with all sorts of entertainment and showing-off.

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Tom Doig

This evening was a lecture from Tom Doig about “Birth and Baptism in the 1800s”. I expected that a certain audience would come, Christian indigenous white Brits at that who would be ofey with things like “Churching” and “aglab” for agricultural labourers. I was correct. The event was excellent. Tom had great slides and great humour. 2013-06-26 20.37.08

The library staff at Hale End Library in Hale End Highams Park (W16 bus) are the most welcoming people I’ve met for ages. Mind you, the library is small enough to think you’re going into their house. It is dead quiet around the place and outside they have customer parking set in an old neglected garden left over from a previous big house.2013-06-26 20.41.34

‘Red Hot Pokers’  are just at the end of their glory.

Waltham Forest Libraries have many free events now and coming up in July. Bravo.

David Boote of Waltham Forest Walks came along to Lea Bridge Seniors and put it out that it is time to get the history of Leyton from the experience of Black and Asian residents past and present. Wouldn’t you just know it? Peter Ashan is on the case waiting for Lottery money in order to go ahead with a project following the history of Black and Asian Waltham Forest people from 1940-1990. I’m in, are you?   Details to follow.

Was so not impressed.

Today I went with a group for a tour of an old house in North London. Was so not impressed. The host was late and dressed badly in period costume. There were very little concrete historical facts because much was said as “We think that…” There were plenty of pristine recently decorated empty rooms to see. Yawn.

Wasn’t even worth photographing.

Went to find an arts organisation a few miles away. Still waiting for the welcome smile. I am sick of going to places with messy offices chucked full of messy interns. First impressions everybody!

Great day in Islington and Hackney

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Off the 56 bus at The Angel Islington, into a sea of white people and into The Claremont to check out submissions for The Claremont Project’s forthcoming art exhibition and to grab my seat for the Tap-dancing show. Fabulous Stella with equally fabulous senior women were doing their thing which in this case was showing their skills having learnt  since January 2013 to tap-dance or to improve their techniques. They thrilled a small audience. Cameras clicked and video-phones silently recorded the treat.

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Move over Beyoncé!

I collected the “Strawberry Tea” tickets for Culpeper Gardens on 2nd July from Claremont office. One hundred pensioners are expected by host, The Stuart Low Trust,  on Tuesday and a appeal has gone out for scone-bakers to bring forth their goodies. Thought Stuart Low Trust was in cohorts with Sainsbury’s. My home-made quiche  for lunch today was to die for. Enough of me.

Left elated and took the bus back to cut through Navarino Mansions and into London Fields. Babies were everywhere. The paddling pool was freezing cold: The toddlers said it! Grannies were out and about with their grandchildren and granddads led dogs of all shapes and sizes. The Lido was packed in the lunch hour.

Ended the afternoon in Vinegar Alley E17 with rumours about ladies of the night. More Googling to do.

On email, Yasmin from NANAs told me about craft afternoons in Chatsworth Road E5 on Tuesdays. Good. Checking the fee.

Herbilicious!

Today in the Community Room, Lea Bridge Library was held the last of six planned sessions for seniors brought together by Up Your Street networking. The finale was indeed wonderful as predicted because we had our very own Waltham Forest medicinal herbalist from her enterprise Hedge Herbs, Rasheeqa Ahmad.

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Her entry was magnificent as she sauntered in carrying boxes and jars behind her intern, Sara. Two beautiful women lit up the room and we in the greedy audience were ready to learn about her magic or the benefits of herbs. The kettle was boiled and the cups washed because we knew we’d be getting an infusion after the talk. Have you ever smelt Meadowsweet along country verges?  It is just gorgeous but short-lived. The dried stuff smells like dried stuff then looks like embroidery.

We sniffed, we smelt, we oohed, we questioned. We learnt about nettles and dandelions, tumeric , alfa alfa  (and I thought of “Of Mice And Men”), drank Hawthorn tea with mint, I think,  then listened as women in hijabs pleaded for help with their digestive systems or bruised elbows. Norman talked of Hops.

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Rasheeqa’s visit was a resounding success as everyone was involved. The community had been engaged, been “pleasured” as the current insurance advert robot says.

Yasmin from NANAs kindly dropped by dragging in one other on her heels, an uninvited drunk, a drop-in, a cuckoo in the nest. She was great too, drumming up interest in voluntary work and something special at The Rose Lipman Building in Haggerston. “Where’s that?” said the Leytonites and the man from Hackney Wick.

Marcella’s Toblerone bar was scoffed. Penguins took away the herbal taste. The raffle prizes included Tesco slatted spoons (It was a job lot!), jewellery from bead-making class, dvds, nail varnish… and nothing second-hand here.

It was fun. Jolly good company. We’re done.

An hour later someone special emailed to tell me about a local project asking if any seniors might be interested. Hold them back!